The single most effective way to change the mood of a room is with colour. Luckily, it’s also one of the easiest, because as autumn settles in, our thoughts naturally turn away from the cheery shades of summer and instead we’re drawn to rich, warm colours that are inviting and relaxing. This year, dark greens, lush blues and burgundy are big news both on the catwalks and on walls.

“I’m a huge fan of this season’s rich jewel tones,” says Renee Tsironis, Senior Brand Manager at British Paints. “They pair perfectly with soft pastel coloured homewares and warm metallics to create a luxurious and romantic feel.”

“I’m crazy about the rich dark greens,” agrees Inside Out stylist Lisa Koehler. “The autumn/winter colour palette is so delicious because the depth of the tones brings warmth and richness to a space. They’re great in a family living room because they give a sense of comfort and togetherness.”


If you’re thinking of adding the new colours with paint, you can achieve a subtle or strong intensity level by choosing to paint either one feature wall, half a wall above or below decorative moulding panels, or an entire room. The choice comes down to your preferences… and colour courage. “For a bold choice, paint your doors, windows or trims in the same wall colour or choose a shade in the same range,” says Renee. “Or for a crisp alternative, paint your doors and skirting boards in a contrasting white glossy finish.”

If you prefer to test the water with something more subtle, find cushions, a throw to drape over a chair or a rug. It will show how the new colours add depth to a room and help you work out which ones best suit you. “Deep greens, blues and eggplant tones work beautifully as soft furnishings, or you can try them out with flowers and beautiful ceramics,” says Lisa.

Dark colours add depth to a room as they recede, so if you’re planning to paint a small space dark, the key to styling the room is to provide plenty of contrast with light colours. And the great news is, you won’t have to completely redecorate as the weather warms up. “All you need to do is add a contrast of colour,” says Lisa. “For example the dark green and blue work magically with light blue and light green mixed with a little white. Burgundy goes wonderfully with shades of pink and pale grey-green. Just add the lighter palette and it’ll take you from winter to spring.”